Castle complete

8th december 2011' WORK ON PHASE TWO OF CONSERVATION AT PONTEFRACT CASTLE IS COMPLETE AND VARIOUS VIP PEOPLE ARE VISITING TO HAVE A LOOK ' Cllr  DAVE DAGGER PICTURED OPENING THE RENOVATION WITH PEOPLE FROM ENGLISH HERITAGE, FRIENDS OF PONTEFRACT CASTLE ETC''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
8th december 2011' WORK ON PHASE TWO OF CONSERVATION AT PONTEFRACT CASTLE IS COMPLETE AND VARIOUS VIP PEOPLE ARE VISITING TO HAVE A LOOK ' Cllr DAVE DAGGER PICTURED OPENING THE RENOVATION WITH PEOPLE FROM ENGLISH HERITAGE, FRIENDS OF PONTEFRACT CASTLE ETC''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
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CELEBRATIONS marked the completion of conservation work at Pontefract Castle last week.

The ten-week second phase of work included fully conserving the remains of the Gascoigne Tower – where King Richard II was held prisoner.

Sections of new stonework have been inserted to strengthen the tower’s medieval vaulted cellar and the whole structure has been repointed.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “We are working hard to fully conserve Pontefract Castle for the future and by funding this phase of the work we hope to demonstrate our vision for the rest of the site.

“I am delighted that the second phase is completed and that thanks to these essential works, the tower will be around for future generations to visit and enjoy.”

The £100,000 project was funded by the council, non-profit business WREN and English Heritage – and representatives from the organisations attended a special relaunch event last Thursday.

Dr Janet McNaught, secretary of the Friends of Pontefract Castle, said the event was “lovely”.

She said: “It’s a beautiful job they’ve done on it, so we’re really pleased that the phases of conservation are moving on and now we need to plan the next bit.

“We’re glad the council has kept its promise and is working hard to preserve the castle for future generations.”

The site is now open seven days a week and further events are planned at the castle this weekend, including a free event on Saturday December 17 when visitors can enjoy a “medieval living” history display.

The event runs from 11am to 3pm and includes medieval musicians, arts and crafts, storytelling and a cooking demonstration.

As well as medieval re-enactors there will be tours of the castle’s dungeons every half-hour.